Every two years, we’re asked to make a couple of very important decisions.
One involves seriously contemplating our self-interests, analyzing promises made, evaluating past performance, determining long-term fiscal consequences, committing to a platform, and living with the social stigma attached to our selection.
The other is voting…
Sadly, maybe even ironically, non-stop advertising has created a level of information overload that exacerbates indecision. Perpetual promotion creates confusion. Significant distinctions become blurred. Insignificant differentiations become amplified. The consequences for choosing incorrectly are exaggerated to anxiety-inducing levels.
But for at least one of these decisions – choosing a smartphone – all of the bombast can’t obscure a simple truth; all the choices ultimately deliver the same benefits.
One model doesn’t offer push-to-talk while the other features a transporter that will beam you to work. One platform doesn’t offer voice recognition while the other reads your mind and executes your thoughts. None of them will drive your car so you can play Angry Birds without ever having to look up.
All the smartphone choices are the same!
All choices allow you to make voice calls and send text messages. Each model will link you to email and the internet. They all have apps. They all offer really cool carrying cases to express your personality. The platform running in the background may be different, but each delivers the same benefits.
There is a very big difference between being a good consumer and participating in our democracy.
Competing political campaigns prey on the consumer mind. Each candidate promises the same benefits and hopes that the voter is so overwhelmed by features that he or she won’t take the time to evaluate the underlying platform. But as voters, we are not simply selecting the candidate whose promises we like the best, we are validating the platform that candidate will champion in office.
The means each candidate will employ to deliver on his promises matter – if he’s even able to deliver on them at all...
This campaign has trained a spotlight on the phrase “the end justifies the means.” One candidate in particular has demonstrated that means do not manner. It is none of our business how he made his money or where his income has come from over the past decade. We don’t need to know which deductions he plans to cut to pay for his 20% across-the-board tax rate reduction. We shouldn’t hold him to anything he has said publicly or privately in the past – including defunding and eliminating FEMA - only what he is saying to us at this exact moment in time. He will say anything or do anything to win. As Douglas Brinkley put it, he is the plaid chameleon.
The platform Mitt Romney is beholden to is that of the Republican Party. Look it up online. Read what it says about individual rights for women, gays, and immigrants. Analyze the economic policy that favors the type of deregulation that created the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Ask yourself where the staggering debt really came from (hint, tax cuts for the wealthy and a lot of military spending including two recent, off-the-books wars).
Has this platform propelled you, personally, toward your American Dream?
Platforms matter. Means matter. Talk is cheap (it’s the data that you have to worry about!).
If this were a choice where there was no significant distinction between how benefits were delivered, we could all just muddle through our contract commitment and make a fresh start with no harm done next time. Unfortunately, there is a lot at stake in this election that will alter the course of lives over the next four years:
Two to three Supreme Court choices that could significantly alter hard-fought women’s rights for decades to come.
Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for not-so-future participants.
Increased deficits or tax increases on the Middle Class.
Escalation of military conflicts in the Middle East.
In short, it’s a return to the same policies that brought us to the point we were at when President Obama took office. Despite the gloom and doom emphasized by the naysayers, we have move forwarded since 2008. The economy has continued to add jobs, recovering the 4.5 million lost between late '08 and mid '09 and adding an additional million to boot. An economy that was predicted by many economists to take 10 years to fix is well on track to full recovery.
The Democratic Platform is working.
Sure there might be lapses, bugs, and glitches that prevent the platform from being flawless, but the network remains focused on delivering the best future outcome for all subscribers.
The Republican Platform promises to return us to the days of two empty cans attached by a string…
If you like this post, share it on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter by clicking the boxes below the article title.
If you like this blog - which is usually about bicycling - fan it on Facebook and follow me on Twitter by clicking the boxes below my bio.
Keep riding and be safe!